Wednesday, July 06, 2016

New Netflix and Comcast Agreement Shows Market Innovation

On July 5, 2016, news broke that Comcast will enable consumers to access Netflix on their set-top boxes. This agreement between Comcast and Netflix is an example of how multichannel video programming distributors (MVPDs) are innovating their services to meet consumer preferences for online video.
In February 2016, the FCC issued a notice of proposed rulemaking which would mandate video devices to allow for 3rd party access to MVPD subscribers. However, these regulations would lock in old technologies and would not allow the market to develop into an app-based service, which will enable online platforms and third party content to reach consumers through an MVPD service. It is important that similar agreements occur in the form of market innovation so consumers can choose which services they value the most, not through top-down FCC regulations imposing unnecessary costs onto MVPDs.